“Love after Love”



The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

–Derek Walcott.

…this reminds me of a column I wrote about self-love. Isn’t it funny when you say: “OMG this reminds me of myself!” All arrows point to me! I think only, ever of myself. So maybe I don’t need to even concern myself with self-love, oh no, this is just a message for the poor lonely girls who can’t even look in the mirror without seeing someone else. And I hope I know that I’m kidding.

I think you can practice loving yourself even when you’re with someone else. Yes this is me trying to have the best of both worlds. Yes this is me wishing I were confident and wonderful and on the arm of someone who thought that too. Sometimes I think I am. But sometimes I think I could be doing more. Loving harder? In all directions, not just in the one that points in in in to my own heart. Wrapping my arms around every little thing that I see. Harumph.

no goals, no direction, too much rest for the weary

I don’t like to think of myself as “goal-oriented.” That’s boring. People with goals are boring.

And yet. Without goals I fumble and flail. I thought I was going to run a half marathon and then I decided it wasn’t for me. All that “training” was what got me to the gym, on the road. When I decided I didn’t want the destination, the journey kind of halted too. I know that’s endlessly trite, but I used to think goals were trite too. After I decided not to run the marathon I sat, stood (but most certainly did not run) at an impasse. Where do I go from here?

It took something as simple as a change in the direction of my exercise regime for me to realize that I need direction in all that I do. I didn’t have a test last week so I went to bed early every night. I didn’t read or “catch up” or God forbid calculate my physics grade. There was no end in sight so I languished in the in-betweeness. I really don’t like the in-between. It’s the most unstable place to be.

There’s no resolution to this shout out to my legs (the underlying message: I still love you even though I didn’t let you do your thing) and to my ever declining living conditions. I think, though, that in acknowledging my lack of goals, some karma or some fairy or maybe some fed up Connelly will fill in those big spaces where direction could really do some good things.